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Colombian leadership dialogue focuses on innovation

As nations learn through dialogue with one another and exchange ideas to the benefit of all, so universities have begun to do the same. On Tuesday, Oct. 31, the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT begins a four-day conference, "Colombian Leadership Dialogue: The Renewal of Research Universities."

The conference, sponsored by the National Science Council of Colombia and the Colombian Ministry of Education, is aimed at providing the leaders of Colombian universities with insight into how MIT sustains its traditions of innovation and creativity. Twenty-two presidents from both private and public universities, including the Universidad de Los Andes, Escuela de Ingeniería de Antoquia and Universidad Nacional, will attend.

Experts from the academic, administrative, private and public sectors will discuss how universities build and sustain the capacity for ongoing technological innovations. Philip Khoury, Ford International Professor of History and associate provost at MIT, will open the conference, which is organized by SPURS Director Bishwapriya Sanyal, Ford International Professor of Urban Development, and O. Robert Simha. Ralph Gakenheimer, professor of urban planning, and Martha B. Penelosa, also of DUSP, also developed this new program with the leadership of the Ministry of Education and the National Science Council of Colombia.

Other MIT speakers at the conference include the chair of the MIT Corporation, Dana Mead; Professor Rafael Bras, civil and environmental engineering; William Hecht, executive vice president of the MIT Alumni Association; Professor Alice Amsden, DUSP; Chancellor Phillip Clay; Professor Rodney Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; and Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering Woodie Flowers.

Two special panels will highlight the ways in which MIT seeks to develop and maintain its innovation and leadership ecosystem. The panels will include representatives from the MIT Enterprise Forum, the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, the MIT Enrepreneurship Center, the Lemelson-MIT program, the Deshpande Center and the MIT Leadership Center, under the direction of Professor Deborah Ancona.

Eduardo Velez, the World Bank manager for Latin American universities, will lead the concluding session.

For more information, please contact Martha Penelosa,

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